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Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Editor’s Note: Bilal here. I just got the chance too try on this watch and shoot it in the metal out here at the LVMH Dubai Watch Week. Sean gets into all the context, history, and background of this watch but I wanted to share some impressions that you need to know from a hands-on. First off, the proportions on the 39mm case of the Carrera 160 Years are absolutely killer and I can’t nitpick the upsizing in relation to the original 36mm 2447S. Is the case a little chunky? Yeah it is, and though I wasn’t able to get an exact measurement I’d venture to say it’s around 14mm thick.  

There is fauxtina. Relax.

I think the photos will get this across, but the dial looks so clean and crisp, the sub-dials look good under closer inspection, and the hands are legible over the brushed sun-ray dial. Overall,  TAG Heuer knew where to leave well enough alone and understood that a simple watch relies on nailing the small things. There’s a lot of history behind the concept of this watch, but putting all that (necessary) talk aside I found it to be a  faithful and successful re-edition of a classic. My verdict: if you’re slightly intrigued then go try it out. This one shines in person. -BK

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Although it’s been through multiple iterations, owners, and branding changes, TAG Heuer is one of the oldest major brands in the watch industry, with a history of continuous production dating back to before the American Civil War. As the first salvo in a year of planned celebrations for the brand’s 160th anniversary in 2020, TAG Heuer has recreated one of the most famous references of its flagship Carrera chronograph line: the 1960s Carrera 2447S. This new version, the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, is an impressively faithful recreation of the Heuer original, finished to modern standards and powered by TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement.

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

While slightly upsized from the 36mm original, this new interpretation of the 2447S remains compact at a 39mm overall case diameter. While some purists may disagree, the increase in size may even propel it above the original, allowing the watch some noticeable wrist presence without leaving a vintage-style size entirely. The lines at play are all classic ‘60s Heuer, too, from the unadorned slender bezel to the distinctive beveled lugs. Even the sapphire crystal is domed for a retro feel. The real point of divergence for the Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, however, is the caseback. TAG Heuer has opted for a broad sapphire display window here, showcasing the uniquely decorated Heuer 02 automatic movement within.

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Like the case, the dial of the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition cleaves very close to the look of the classic 2447S, while adding touches of modern luxury and cleaning up certain visual proportions. The original Heuer shield emblem and Carrera dial text are perfectly replicated at 12 o’clock, along with a nearly identical set of pointed baton hands that shine brighter than the originals, thanks to a subtle beveling. The neutral sunburst silver of the main dial is replicated very closely, as well, but differences start to appear once one’s attention drifts to the subdials. Of course, thanks to the different layout of the Heuer 02 movement versus the original’s Valjoux 72, the running seconds subdial moves from 9 o’clock to 6 o’clock, but the improved finish of the new model is the most starkly apparent change.

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

While the 2447S settled for printed subdials with a hint of snailing finish, the new version seats each subdial in its own sloping bezel for added visual depth while the snailing finish is made far more dramatic. The other, subtler visual changes come around the chapter ring. Original ‘60s Carrera models were usually equipped with a tachymeter or decimal scale just inside the seconds track of the chapter ring, but here the scales are deleted, allowing room to extend the applied hour indices outward towards the edges of the dial. The overall effect is cleaner, smoother, and feels visually larger than the original without adding much in the way of actual size. The point of contention for enthusiasts on the new dial, however, will likely be the use of faux-patina khaki lume, but given the size of the lume fills on the hands and the pips outside the indices, the visual effect of the lume is minimal.

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

TAG Heuer equips the Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition with its flagship in-house automatic chronograph movement, the Heuer 02. This is an impressively engineered piece, featuring a column wheel, vertical clutch, and a massive 80-hour power reserve. For this specific application, the movement also receives some special decoration in the form of a custom-engraved black winding rotor with an inscription celebrating the marque’s 160th anniversary.

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Photo by Phillips

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

TAG Heuer pairs the new Carrera with a black alligator leather strap and signed deployant clasp. While the strap itself is handsome enough, a perforated rally strap might have helped to drive the ‘60s inspiration home while better matching the visual style of the watch.

Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On Debut: TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Based on first impressions, it looks as though the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition might be one of those rare reissues that lives up to the weighty expectations from the watch it’s based on. Only 1,860 examples will be made to celebrate the brand’s 160th anniversary and will be available from TAG Heuer authorized retailers beginning in June 2020 with a price around $6,450. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.

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  • SuperStrapper

    It’s nice. Certainly a better watch in most regards than the original, which seems to lack personality. The fake aged lume was a weird choice for an otherwise monochromatic watch that doesn’t look like it is not is trying to be vintage. White-resting blue-blooming bgw9 would have been a better option.

  • JosephWelke

    Lovely watch. This would complete my collection. Not too big, great appearance, in-house movement, no weird flourishes to get in the way of what the watch is trying to do.

    Only two things: stop with the vintage colored lume; I’d much rather have my lume age naturally thanks very much, and no mention of thickness, but judging from pics and the thickness of the Autavia Chrono I’d say 13mm isn’t far off.

  • I second the lume opinion here, regular lume would have been fine. Otherwise I think it is better than the original. Not bad at all.

  • Ugo

    lovely.
    i think it’d be gorgeous with a perforated leather strap…

  • hatster

    …oh go on then…… “waits to see pricing”……

  • NaJo

    absolutely awesome.. now tag is using heuer 02 in all of its heritage pieces including monaco; makes sense! hopefully the price is not out of the park…. all am waiting for to add a tag to my collection is a modified left side crown version of monaco heuer 2.

  • Independent_George

    Nice to see the 02 in a case sized less than a small dinner plate.

    I like this.

  • PR

    Everything’s great except the fauxtina. It just looks off. The other thing I do wish someone developS a slimmer chronograph in this price range. I miss the case profile of the modular 2894 watches. Now all the in house chronographs under 6k are chunky and thick. Someone make a 11mm cased in house chronograph please.

  • Pedro Lambareiro

    If all fauxtina was that discreet. I hope this does mean Tag is taking the thunder from Zenith inside LVHM pecking order but other than that, amazing.

  • Gary Mark

    Anybody else find the chronograph hour & minute markers confusing. For the hours, some are long(thin print), some short(bold print) then the minutes are opposite, long(bold print) and short(thin print).

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I want to like it, but i don’t. So that’s that.

  • Lingua Franca

    Oh man, now I have to collect all the 1969 automatic chronograph movements…

    • Nateb123

      Decent Carreras and Camaros could be had for a grand or two about 5 years ago. Sadly I was a broke student at the time. And now they’re just crazy expensive.

  • Wolfman

    Seems like a very nice watch, but if you look closely at the 10th picture starting at the beginning of the article you’ll see a watch that appears to be terribly scratched. Thoughts?

    • JosephWelke

      Pretty sure that’s an original 1960s Carrera 2447S. The inspiration for the watch in the article.

      • Independent_George

        You might be right, but the Dink had a photo of an original without the snailed subdials and numerals around the minutes track.

        • chesirecat77

          “The Dink” was wrong, and that is not that unusual 🙂 This is the inspiration for that model. Hodinkee’s example with the 100 mar scale was inspiration for the 90s release with lemaniam movement

      • Simonh

        You are correct.

    • Independent_George

      You will also notice that the hands are at 10:10 and the chrono hand is at 37 secs. Means it’s a prototype, meant to be beaten up and passed around.

  • Phil

    Nicely done, curious about the thickness and how it will feel on the wrist. As for the fauxtina, if it bugs you just get it relumed by a pro. I did that for two of my watches, it’s addictive and there are plenty of colors to choose from!

  • David Rainey

    Unless I’ve now totally lost it, this watch doesn’t even appear on their website. I do like it however, fauxtina lume or not.

  • egznyc

    I like the look – and I’m not a fan of the brand. Don’t know why everyone’s so hot and bothered by the color of the little luminous elements present here. It’s a color choice, just like the dial, text, etc. it’s not meant to perpetrate a fraud upon the owner or the world. And this looks like a good combination of sporty yet elegant.

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